How's Boras Doing This Off-Season?

sezwho

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There’s something rotten in Denmark about our reactions here, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Boras’s job is to get as much money as possible from the owners. In a zero sum game, his players getting overpaid/extra years isn’t great, but it’s not a zero sum game.

The owners aren’t spending it somewhere else, they just aren’t spending at all, and this isn’t progress.

If their goal is to recondition the fan base to lower percentages going to the players and higher profits to the PE d-bags then its working. Yay.

I do like the RS extensions and hope the trend continues.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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We'll never know what really happened, and whether Montgomery turned down bigger offers because Boras assured him he could get more later, but on its face a 1 year / $25M seems like the absolute worst case scenario. He has a little insurance with the $20M player option for next year, but now he didn't even get a regular Spring Training to put his best foot forward this season in the hopes of getting a replacement deal next year (when he'll be a year older, of course).
Sitting out spring training and seeing elbows explode around the league has to make a person nervous.
 

joe dokes

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There’s something rotten in Denmark about our reactions here, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Boras’s job is to get as much money as possible from the owners. In a zero sum game, his players getting overpaid/extra years isn’t great, but it’s not a zero sum game.

The owners aren’t spending it somewhere else, they just aren’t spending at all, and this isn’t progress.

If their goal is to recondition the fan base to lower percentages going to the players and higher profits to the PE d-bags then its working. Yay.

I do like the RS extensions and hope the trend continues.
Suggesting that Boras's off-season was not stellar -- considering that JM has apparently fired him -- does not suggest that the players shouldn't go after every last dollar. At least that's my position. All this inured to the detriment of his client. If the Sox pounced on the contractual carcass, I would happy for the on-field product, not because it saved John Henry money. (Not that I would feel bad for a guy whose "shitty" contract pays him 8 figures).
 

dynomite

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If JM got $100M+ offers and turned them down because Boras told him he could get more, that’s mostly on JM.
I'm not sure I agree with this. In situations where you hire someone as an advisor for their particular skills, you're relying on their judgment -- when you hire an attorney, an auto mechanic, a realtor, etc right?

Montgomery hired Boras and presumably agreed to his 5% agent commission because of his reputation as the best agent in the sport who maximizes contracts for his clients. Montgomery's job is to understand how to pitch, not to read the pitching market and front office negotiations.

Again, we'll never know what transpired, but Montgomery ending up with a 1 year deal and firing Boras is fairly damning on its face.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm not sure I agree with this. In situations where you hire someone as an advisor for their particular skills, you're relying on their judgment -- when you hire an attorney, an auto mechanic, a realtor, etc right?

Montgomery hired Boras and presumably agreed to his 5% agent commission because of his reputation as the best agent in the sport who maximizes contracts for his clients. Montgomery's job is to understand how to pitch, not to read the pitching market and front office negotiations.

Again, we'll never know what transpired, but Montgomery ending up with a 1 year deal and firing Boras is fairly damning on its face.
I dunno. I think people get in trouble by placing all their trust in someone without getting educated on it. Montgomery is fully capable of finding on his own what recent comps are and what’s being offered. There is nothing technical about x dollars over y years. He should be able to understand the basic parameters of how he’s compensated and if he doesn’t, again, that’s on him.

We have no idea what he was presented with but I’m sure Boras saw the Nola contract and used that as a comp. But at some point, you need to re-align expectations and I don’t think Boras ever did that.
 

simplicio

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There’s something rotten in Denmark about our reactions here, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Boras’s job is to get as much money as possible from the owners. In a zero sum game, his players getting overpaid/extra years isn’t great, but it’s not a zero sum game.

The owners aren’t spending it somewhere else, they just aren’t spending at all, and this isn’t progress.

If their goal is to recondition the fan base to lower percentages going to the players and higher profits to the PE d-bags then its working. Yay.

I do like the RS extensions and hope the trend continues.
My reaction is Boras screwed up and his clients and baseball payed for it. Reports of Chapman turning down $125m from the Jays and Boras seeking 9/$270m for Snell (while rejecting NY's 5/150 offer) show him as completely disconnected from the market and valuing his ego more than getting his guys paid. He tried to play his tricks and failed, then signed emergency pillow deals and now his underpaid clients have showed up late and/or unprepared for the season, and baseball is worse off for that.
 

RS2004foreever

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Boris is rich as fuck, flies on his own jet, and made more this offseason than most of us will see in our lives.
Does that answer your question?
 

radsoxfan

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I'm not sure I agree with this. In situations where you hire someone as an advisor for their particular skills, you're relying on their judgment -- when you hire an attorney, an auto mechanic, a realtor, etc right?

Montgomery hired Boras and presumably agreed to his 5% agent commission because of his reputation as the best agent in the sport who maximizes contracts for his clients. Montgomery's job is to understand how to pitch, not to read the pitching market and front office negotiations.

Again, we'll never know what transpired, but Montgomery ending up with a 1 year deal and firing Boras is fairly damning on its face.
I agree with this, blaming JM for relying on Boras' advice is a bit of a strange take to me.

We don't know what went on behind closed doors or how different offers were presented of course. But generally speaking, I wouldn't blame a player for taking an agent's advice and it not working out.

If you go to a doctor and get crappy advice, follow it, and it then doesn't work out is it the patient's fault for not doing a better job of googling?

I've said this before but I think Boras has lost his fastball a bit. In his interviews he seems slightly bumbling, talking in cliches, generally a bit less sharp than in his prime. This offseason certainly isn't going to help his ability to keep the talent pipeline flowing.
 

BigSoxFan

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I agree with this, blaming JM for relying on Boras' advice is a bit of a strange take to me.

We don't know what went on behind closed doors or how different offers were presented of course. But generally speaking, I wouldn't blame a player for taking an agent's advice and it not working out.

If you go to a doctor and get crappy advice, follow it, and it then doesn't work out is it the patient's fault for not doing a better job of googling?

I've said this before but I think Boras has lost his fastball a bit. In his interviews he seems slightly bumbling, talking in cliches, generally a bit less sharp than in his prime. This offseason certainly isn't going to help his ability to keep the talent pipeline flowing.
How do you know Montgomery got bad advice? Just because Montgomery fired Boras at the end?

Players sign with Boras to maximize earnings. We know this. Boras has been largely successful so there was no reason to believe that 1/25 would be the end point here.

Do we know that Boras didn’t come in during the process and tell JM to take whatever the best offer was at the time? Do we know that Montgomery didn’t Rod Tidwell the situation?

End of the day, you pay for advice but you still own the decision. We’re not talking about medicine, mechanics, or other positions where people aren’t talking the same language as the professionals. Montgomery knew what he was getting into. He knew comps. He knew how he perceived himself against those comps.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that maybe he misevaluated himself. We all have blind spots and there are plenty of examples of athletes holding out for more money and then getting burned. If the reason they did is because their super agent told them he could get it, then there is shared accountability.

I’m sure there are plenty of people here who have needed a lawyer, doctor, etc., gotten a bad feeling about them, and switched course. Montgomery could have done that before he lost all leverage. He didn’t. So he isn’t blameless. How one wants to divide up the blame pie is subject to interpretation, sure.
 

simplicio

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How do you know Montgomery got bad advice? Just because Montgomery fired Boras at the end?

Players sign with Boras to maximize earnings. We know this. Boras has been largely successful so there was no reason to believe that 1/25 would be the end point here.

Do we know that Boras didn’t come in during the process and tell JM to take whatever the best offer was at the time? Do we know that Montgomery didn’t Rod Tidwell the situation?

End of the day, you pay for advice but you still own the decision. We’re not talking about medicine, mechanics, or other positions where people aren’t talking the same language as the professionals. Montgomery knew what he was getting into. He knew comps. He knew how he perceived himself against those comps.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that maybe he misevaluated himself. We all have blind spots and there are plenty of examples of athletes holding out for more money and then getting burned. If the reason they did is because their super agent told them he could get it, then there is shared accountability.

I’m sure there are plenty of people here who have needed a lawyer, doctor, etc., gotten a bad feeling about them, and switched course. Montgomery could have done that before he lost all leverage. He didn’t. So he isn’t blameless. How one wants to divide up the blame pie is subject to interpretation, sure.
If it was just Montgomery, sure. But he controlled the entire top of the market once the Dodgers guys signed and all 4 of those guys came in way under both their projections and the rest of the market. There's no world where Snell and Montgomery, both 31 years old, should be making less than a 34 year old Sonny Gray.
 

BigSoxFan

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If it was just Montgomery, sure. But he controlled the entire top of the market once the Dodgers guys signed and all 4 of those guys came in way under both their projections and the rest of the market. There's no world where Snell and Montgomery, both 31 years old, should be making less than a 34 year old Sonny Gray.
There was no reason for Boras to think that the market would dry up the way it did though. I 100% agree that 1/25 for Montgomery was a (relatively) terrible result for him but feels like the macro environment of owners not spending on SP after Yamamoto was the real culprit here.

If Boras tells Montgomery to take 3/80 early on, do we think JM would have?
 

simplicio

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The only offers we heard about on the Boras clients were to Chapman and Snell; both were well above their Fangraphs projections and both were rejected. It's entirely possible that Montgomery's market never developed like that, but the evidence we do have points to Boras shooting for the moon (remember the ask for Montgomery was something bigger than Nola), despite obvious market factors indicating the 2022 spending spree was a one time thing.
 

jon abbey

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Boras’ spokesman (Heyman) was still talking about a seven year deal for Montgomery the week before he signed.
 

BigSoxFan

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Boras’ spokesman (Heyman) was still talking about a seven year deal for Montgomery the week before he signed.
Boras was doing whatever he could to create a market that didn’t develop but that doesn’t mean that Montgomery didn’t misread the market himself. We just don’t know without knowing what offers he was presented with, turned down, etc.

Montgomery made the decision to sign with Boras. He knew going in how Boras operates. He owns the consequences of his decision to sign with Boras and he owns the decision to stick with him while things were apparently unraveling.

If he had 5/125 or whatever offer and Boras convinced him to turn it down to chase a 7-8 year offer, then I would blame Boras mostly. But I’m not sure that offer ever existed.

My read on this situation is that, like many of us, they assumed Yamamoto’s signing would create a nice fallback market and that market just never developed.
 

jon abbey

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If he had 5/125 or whatever offer and Boras convinced him to turn it down to chase a 7-8 year offer, then I would blame Boras mostly.
It wasn't just Montgomery, I'm not even sure why you're arguing this. Here's Matt Chapman:

"Chapman, who turned down a $125 million contract from the Toronto Blue Jays last year, and a 10-year, $150 million contract from the Oakland A’s in 2019, wound up signing a three-year, $54 million contract with the San Francisco Giants."

Blake Snell turned down 6/150, Boras didn't even try to counteroffer and so the Yankees moved on to Stroman.
 

BigSoxFan

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It wasn't just Montgomery, I'm not even sure why you're arguing this. Here's Matt Chapman:

"Chapman, who turned down a $125 million contract from the Toronto Blue Jays last year, and a 10-year, $150 million contract from the Oakland A’s in 2019, wound up signing a three-year, $54 million contract with the San Francisco Giants."

Blake Snell turned down 6/150, Boras didn't even try to counteroffer and so the Yankees moved on to Stroman.
What do you think I’m arguing? I’m saying the player has responsibility to make the decision and isn’t some innocent party here. If Chapman turned down $125M because he believed Boras’ pitch, that’s on him.
 

radsoxfan

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Boras has botched it, seems pretty clear looking at the totality of the situation.

We’ll never know all the details of each negotiation and what he said, what the players wanted etc.

Perhaps some shared blame in some cases, but in general the agent that keeps getting terrible deals for all of his clients (worse than all the leaked prior offers) probably deserves a lot of the blame.
 

radsoxfan

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What do you think I’m arguing? I’m saying the player has responsibility to make the decision and isn’t some innocent party here. If Chapman turned down $125M because he believed Boras’ pitch, that’s on him.
At most, maybe partially.

I’m not sure why you think players are the primary person to blame if they get advice from their agent and follow that advice.

I’d blame them more for hiring the wrong agent than for listening to that agent.
 

BigSoxFan

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At most, maybe partially.

I’m not sure why you think players are the primary person to blame if they get advice from their agent and follow that advice.

I’d blame them more for hiring the wrong agent than for listening to that agent.
Because player get greedy just like agents do. It’s human nature. You sign with Boras, you know you’re going to play a high stakes game of chicken and you’re ok with that. I know it’s easy to place all the blame on the greedy agent, especially one as unpopular as Boras, but I think it’s naive to think that Montgomery wasn’t also a driving factor behind his own holdout. And I bet the two of them were very much aligned on the approach they were going to take, at least early on when all the best offers were likely made. Otherwise, why sign with Boras in the first place?

To be clear, I think Boras clearly misread the market and overplayed his hands. But I also don’t absolve the players either because they signed up for the riskier approach and they have the power to change agents at any time. I’m also more naturally risk averse so that is playing into my position here.
 

snowmanny

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It seemed like Boras was trying get Snell signed before focusing on Boras. Maybe I have that all wrong but I could see Montgomery being pissed if that was the strategy.

edit-i meant “ before focusing on JM “ of course
 
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BigSoxFan

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It seemed like Boras was trying get Snell signed before focusing on Boras. Maybe I have that all wrong but I could see Montgomery being pissed if that was the strategy.
This is actually an important angle I didn’t properly consider. If Boras did, indeed, prioritize Snell over Montgomery and materially impact the Montgomery offers because of this strategy then I would wholeheartedly agree that Montgomery deserves a much smaller piece of the blame pie.